What are Power Bands?
Powerbands can be found in most gyms, and look like a large scale elastic band. Typically, they are used to increase the load and difficulty of exercises such as squats and deadlifts, however they have a variety of different uses.
Powerbands work off of a progressive resistance scale. When the band is fully relaxed, no added resistance is created. When the band is fully stretched, the band will transfer its maximum load. Typically, at peak contraction they can add between 10kg to 80kg worth of resistance to an exercise.
The chart below shows the resistance levels for the typical Powerbands you will find in most gyms. These can be used as a rough guide, however resistance may differ with different branding.
2-16kg (Red Band)
11-36kg (Purple Band)
23-54kg (Green Band)
27-68kg (Blue Band)
32-79kg (Orange Band)
The following are a select few of the exercises that can be done with a single power band. These exercises can be utilized in to your normal training programme, however coaching from a trained professional is advised beforehand.
Deadlift with Vertical Power Band Placement
This exercise is used to add progressive resistance on to your conventional deadlift. The lifter places the band over the bar and then fixes it under midfoot. As the lifter carries out a conventional deadlift the band will stretch therefore creates a progressive resistance. The emphasis for this exercise is on the “lock out” or the top phase of the exercise, as this is where the band will be at full stretch and therefore provides the most resistance.
Deadlift with Horizontal Hip Crease Placement
Similar to the previous exercise the lifter will carry out a full conventional deadlift. This time however, the powerband is looped around a stable support and then placed in to the lifters hip crease. This exercise makes it harder to push the hips forwards, therefore increasing the activity of the glutes.
Kettlebell Swings with Horizontal Hip Crease Placement
The lifter sets the band in to their hip crease, and then carries out a normal kettlebell swing making sure to push the hips forwards in to the band. As with the previous exercise this increases the activity of the glutes.
Power Band Assisted Pull Ups
For this exercise the power band is used to take resistance off and assist with the movement. The lifter loops the band around the bar and then steps in to it. At maximum stretch the band will provide resistance in to the lifter and therefore makes the exercise easier. As the lifter reaches the top of the movement the tension through the band will decrease and less resistance is put in to the lifter. This is a great exercise for anyone who struggles with normal bodyweight pull ups.
Front Squat to Shoulder Press
The lifter stands in to the band with the feet shoulder width and band placed underneath the midfoot. They then bring the band in to the shoulders with the palms facing away from the body. The lifter then performs a front squat, followed by a shoulder press.
Looped Bodyweight Squats
The lifter doubles up the band and steps both legs through. The band is then placed around the lateral aspect of the knees to create resistance pushing the knees in to a valgus position (knock knees). The lifter then completes a full squat making sure to push the knees outwards in to the band to keep them in line with the feet. This movement increases glute activity and is great as a warm up or corrective exercise before any compound exercises.
The full clips of the exercises can be found on my website and YouTube channel on the link below.